In one of the article links found in the EASY MONEY: posts....
I happen to read this one... http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2014/01/computer-corporations
What caught my attention was this quote..
"Lots of people will throw the term [DACs] around without really understanding it," says Mike Hearn, a Google engineer and Bitcoin developer. He prefers the term "autonomous agent" as a more useful metaphor. For such agents to exist, he says, "you need trusted computing to work well and it never has. So it'd require new hardware to be deployed."
Can anyone explain what he means by "require new hardware"?
Is he alluding that it's going to take more network hashing power, aka needing more miners? Or does he literally mean NEW HARDWARE?
Anyone on the inside track able to help out with this answer?
Mike Hearn is actually right. We do need to rely on the trusted platform module and I asked about this a while back but got responses from conspiracy theorists who think the TPM is a sort of trap door.
I don't agree with him that it never has worked although maybe it hasn't been tried in this context. It does work fairly well in some scenarios but it's not cheap and it has to be designed very conservatively.
I think you could design kiosks and Trezor wallet style hardware devices which use hardware random number generators and trusted platform modules. It would not be totally secure without also designing it to be protected from emissions leaks, differential power analysis and other side channel attacks.
It's possible and it is used in practice but it's not going to be something which the average persons computer can do. The average computer is not secure from any of the stuff I mentioned even if it's entirely offline. Your private keys are not safe from side channel attacks even if you're not online.
Paper wallets are secure but the moment you put your private key into electronic form this leaks all sorts of information which can be intercepted if your information is valuable enough.
DACs will have to be hardened to protect private key material. This would require specialized hardware designed specifically for DACs or the DAC industry or very cheap single purpose handheld devices which connect to kiosks (maybe quantum cryptography could be applied here?). The average smart phone isn't good enough, Trezor is good enough but also very limited.
There is a huge difference between what Mike Hearn is saying and what I am saying... and that is that Hearn is talking about advanced vending machines and trading bots which is different from emergent behavior of market forces coordinated by a block-chain.
I agree with you. I think Mike Hearn is talking about vending machines. I think he's presenting a future which Bitshares could be leading us to.
If you're going to build DACs that interact with the real world in some way then eventually the hardware has to be built and that hardware has to be secure and open source. The hardware designs in my opinion should be open so that even the chip designs can be examined, the whole process should be something which can be audited including trusted foundries that make the chips and components.
I think we are years away from that stage because it would require special purpose hardware even if some of the software exists. And this is actually one of the main concerns I have with Ethereum. Ethereum is supposed to run on untrusted hardware as far as I know, and probably on untrusted software as well if it's running on something closed source like Windows or even some open source OS.
I think right now it's not a very big deal because these are all just experiments. If real money starts pouring in then it will be a different ballgame.